PARKERSBURG - Come 9 a.m. Saturday the eight-team Fall Brawl at Parkersburg South's Rod Oldham Athletic Center will get underway.
Two-time defending Class AA state volleyball champion and newly crowned OVAC 4A victor Oak Glen, which won the Fall Brawl last October against Tyler Consolidated, will be back to defend its title.
"We're going to leave on Friday and head on down, get there early and get a good night's sleep and be ready to go," said Oak Glen head coach Ethel Riser, whose squad is led by returning first team all-stater Morgan Poling.
"We're really anxious to play Ritchie County. We haven't seen them since last year at the state tournament. I'm glad we are in the pool we are in. We're going to have good competition."
Along with Ritchie County, which has lost to the Golden Bears in each of the past two double-A state title matches, Pool B also includes Parkersburg and Tyler Consolidated. However, the Big Reds won't be running on all cylinders this weekend.
"We're not going to have (Alexandra) Dils there and Allison Schumacher is hurt," said PHS head man Carl Harnish. "Allison (ankle injury) will probably rest on Saturday.
"If we need her she might play. It's only the regular season so I'm not going to worry about it."
The Big Reds did get the services of Sam Shingleton back after she recovered from an injury.
"It's going to be something new (the rotation) and we'll see how it works,"Harnish added. "We've got a lot of good players and it will test our back row a little more.
"We'll see what it looks like and how they play back there. We've played without Schumacher the last couple of days and we've played without Shingleton."
Host Parkersburg South's pool features Magnolia, Brooke and Weir. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the semifinals. All rounds of play will be the best-of-three sets.
Patriot head coach Becky Bennett was unable to get the usual 12 teams into the tournament because of a scheduling conflict.
"We had to move it a week because of the OVAC," she said. "There was no way (to get 12 teams) because there were already tournaments set."
Parkersburg South, which was led by Kasey Williams' 14 kills during a pair of wins on Thursday against Nitro and Lincoln County, will bring a 19-8-1 record into the fray.
"It will be some good competition all day," Bennett added. "If we play the way we should and play to our talent level we should be playing for the championship if not winning the championship. It all depends on which team decides to show up."